When Gurudeeban Selvaraj and Satyavani Kaliamurthi came to Canada in 2019, they had no idea they would be creating both a preventative vaccine and a curing drug to address the millennium’s biggest pandemic.
As of May 27, 2020, there have been 2,925,466 infected COVID-19 patients reported worldwide, with a total of 355,727 deaths. The rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns regarding the short supply of medical equipment needed to control the rate of transmission and mortality. In most developing countries, transporting vaccines can be difficult without the proper storage technologies, since vaccines and equipment can spoil in high temperatures.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the total number of COVID-19 cases reached a high of 71,486 as of May 13, 2020 — with Ontario and Quebec collectively accounting for 83% of all cases and 92% of the Canadian death toll. With a mortality rate of 3.4%, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented — and growing — demand for a vaccine.
Near downtown Montréal, the Little Burgundy neighbourhood reveals many contrasts. In the south, it touches the Lachine Canal, a beautiful 14-kilometre cycling and pedestrian pathway that sees millions of visitors every year. In the north, it is bordered by the busy and grey Ville-Marie Expressway. One of the most multicultural communities in the city, Little Burgundy is home to upscale restaurants and boutiques, but also to a vulnerable population that struggles with food insecurity.
When the COVID-19 pandemic was announced and the Government of Canada called upon researchers and businesses to develop solutions, Ramtin Rasoulinezhad answered.
A graduate student at Western University, Ramtin was working as a research engineer supported by Mitacs Accelerate . He was working on the Net Zero Energy Building project with AVL Manufacturing when CEO Vince Discristofaro selected him to work directly with the Hybrid Solution Division.
Water contamination adversely affects the lives of two billion people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, half of the world’s population will struggle with water scarcity by 2025, with 785 million people currently lacking basic access to clean drinking water. However, the demand for consumer products requires mining, which can lead to water contaminants that affect aquatic wildlife, vegetation, and humans.
Professor Isabel Desgagné-Penix and her team at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières are the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids can be successfully grown in microalgae by a process called metabolic engineering.
The process of metabolic engineering extracts the genes responsible for cannabinoid production from cannabis plants and inserts them into algae, creating a type of cannabis surrogacy in algae.
Semah Aissaoui’s journey with Mitacs began in summer 2018 as an undergraduate in Tunisia when he first came to Canada as a Globalink research intern. He progressed on to receive the Mitacs Globalink Graduate Fellowship and attend graduate school at Polytechnique Montréal in Canada with the award. He now works with Fluent.ai on a Mitacs Accelerate award, researching how to remove background noise and reverberation from sound signals to enhance the accuracy of offline voice-activated devices.
When Annalena Felber made the journey from Germany to the University of Saskatchewan in the summer of 2017 to work with Assistant Professor Marguerite Koole, the pair had an entirely different summer research project planned.